policing a teach-in

Jeff Kinkle jeffkinkle at home.se
Thu Mar 6 07:02:25 MST 2003


That's interesting.  It reminds me of Freud's patient's 'Father, don't
you see I'm burning?' dream and Lacan's reinterpretation of it.  For
those not familiar it is discussed in detail in Zizek's 'How did Marx
invent the symptom' which is the first chapter of The Sublime Object of
Ideology but also, I think, published elsewhere.

(I know you hate Zizek Louis but I'll give a summary of his analysis.)

Basically, a patient of Freud's who's child just died has a dream in
which his child approaches his bed and whispers in his ear, 'Father,
don't you see I'm burning?'.  The man then wakes up and smells smoke
coming from the next room where his son was laid out surrounded by
candles and finds that one of the candles had fallen and was burning
the sleeve of the boy's shirt.

'The usual interpretation of this dream is based on a thesis that one
of the functions of the dream is to enable the dreamer to prolong his
sleep.  The sleeper is suddenly exposed to an exterior irritation, a
stimulus coming from reality, and to prolong his sleep he quickly, on
the spot, constructs a dream: a little scene, a small story, which
includes this irritating element.  However, the external irritation
soon becomes too strong and the subject is awakened' (Sublime Object
Ideology 45).

According to this, you incorporated the irritation you felt by Don Imus
and his discussion with Dodd into your dream until it became to
horrible to bear at which point you finally woke up.

Now according to Zizek, 'The Lacanian reading is direclty opposed to
this.  The subject does not awake himself when the external irritation
becomes too strong; the logic of his awakening is quite different.
First he constructs a dream, a story which enables him to prolong his
sleep, to avoid awakening into reality.  But the thing that he
encounters in the dream, the reality of his desire, the Lacanaian Real,
is more terrifying than so-called reality itself, and that is why he
awakens: to escape the Real of his desire, which announces itself in
the terrifying dream.  He escapes into so-called reality to be able to
continue to sleep, to maintain his blindness, to elude awakening into
the real of his desire' (45).

So now this is the question....
Why the hell is your clock radio set to Don Imus?

Jeff

On Thursday, Mar 6, 2003, at 15:17 Europe/Stockholm, Louis Proyect
wrote:

> James Daly wrote:
>> Dear Jacob
>> the lights are going out all over the world...
>
> Last night I dreamed I was in Baghdad and the war had started. I was
> there on the same kind of business (technical support) that brought me
> to Nicaragua in 1987. I was driving around with young Iraqis, who were
> engineers and computer programmers, watching the skies. Then, the tops
> of office buildings began to be hit by Cruise Missiles. In a fashion
> reminiscent of the WTC, the top 10 floors or so would then break off
> and come crashing to the ground carrying their occupants with them.
> Then, as a civilian airliner a missle struck it. It spiraled burning
> to the ground. Just after it crashed, as an American jet followed the
> same path an Iraqi soldier on the ground fired an shoulder-launched
> ground-to-air missile and hit the jet. I woke up, turned on the radio
> to hear Don Imus interviewing Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd.
> Dodd said that the nuclear confrontation with North Korea is more
> alarming than anything in 50 years or so. No wonder I have bad dreams,
> when reality is such a nightmare.


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